OTTAWA – The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) today welcomed transport minister Marc Garneau’s response to the recommendations of the Railway Safety Act review panel. The RAC looks forward to continuing its work with Transport Canada on meaningful improvements to safety.
The minister of transport appointed an independent review panel on April 26, 2017 to complete the statutory review of the Railway Safety Act and assess the state of rail safety in Canada. Tabled in Parliament on May 31, 2018, the review panel’s report found that Canada’s rail transportation system is safe and is getting safer.
Last week Garneau issued the following statement:
“I launched the statutory review of Canada’s Railway Safety Act – one year ahead of schedule – to make sure that this important legislation continues to uphold the best interests of Canadians. The review was carried out by an independent, third-party review panel over a 12-month period, which included extensive consultations across the country and online to give all interested parties the opportunity to share their views.
The Railway Safety Act Review Panel presented a final report of their findings and recommendations on April 30, 2018, which I tabled in Parliament on May 31, 2018.
The report finds that the Railway Safety Act is sound, and that our rail transportation system is getting safer overall. However, the report concludes that Canada’s rail safety regime needs to modernize to better address difficult and long-standing rail safety issues, tackle new challenges, and harness new opportunities that technology can bring to improve rail safety.
I have accepted the report’s 16 recommendations, which will help address persistent rail safety issues and position Canada’s rail transportation system to meet the challenges of the next decade.
“The rail industry supports the Minister of Transport’s commitment to safety, which is a core value that drives our operations on a daily basis,” said Marc Brazeau, the RAC’s president and CEO.
“The RAC would like to thank Richard Paton, Pauline Quinlan and Brenda Eaton for their work as an independent review panel. We also applaud the government’s efforts to accelerate the use of technology and innovation in the railway sector through key initiatives such as its Innovation Centre.”
The RAC and its members were active participants in the Railway Safety Act Review, filing a submission that presented 13 recommendations to improve rail safety in Canada.